Our History


Before Progress was founded over 28 years ago, institutional investors — especially those with limited resources — found it virtually impossible to allocate assets to start-up investment firms. Even those with the vision and conviction to invest with smaller asset managers often could not do so owing to asset size restrictions and limited sourcing capabilities. Progress solved this challenge by creating a new business model focused on finding and vetting talent and building diversified, risk-controlled portfolios of young, high performing investment firms. Our multi-manager model also minimized the business risk of investing in new, small companies.

Since its inception in 1990, Progress has funded nearly 200 asset managers and since that time, we have continued to innovate and offer customized emerging manager strategies across the efficient frontier. The Progress model of investing — focused on controlling business risk as well as portfolio risk — remains a cost-effective and efficient way for institutional investors to access emerging manager talent.

Our Founder: One Man’s Dream

Acutely aware of the opportunity costs plaguing an industry that favored “sameness” of size, age, and brand — traits not necessarily correlated with investment success — Marx L. Cazenave, II, founded Progress Investment Management Company in 1990 to provide institutional investors with expert access to entrepreneurial investment talent. As the first African American stock broker at E.F. Hutton, and Head of the Small Business Administration under President Jimmy Carter, Marx’s dream was born out of personal experience, fueled by passion, and executed with purpose, integrity and excellence. He successfully promoted his idea to others, who then joined him providing the capital and talent needed for his vision to succeed. 

In 2001, Marx transitioned the business to the next generation of leadership. He remains a strategic adviser to the firm.

Open Progress' Timeline